Following Nic Bommarito's "Harp Fragments", this is part II of our "America, the beautiful" series.
I am following the enigmatic Derrick Hart for quite a while now. Equally rooted in the chromatics of US-American Folklore and off-key Pop music, Hart is blessed with a wonderful voice and musical talent that makes his compositions shine like nothing else I heard in a while. His four track "Songs from a cross (the sea)" EP is probably the shortest 12rec. release ever - but one you do not want to miss.
"Songs from a cross (the sea)" kicks off with "Sunchild", a febrile and angst-driven piece of Indiepop that marries the grandezza of Arcade Fire with the broken beauty of Brian Wilson. "Sad Leafless Trees", the instrumental intermezzo afterwards, is a digestion of Hart's Americana-sound. It is exciting to follow its textural drift. "You're winning so I quiet" is Derrick Hart in full effect, a larger-than-life DIY Country hymn. Hart's great ability is to play it candy - but not much. For "Rest Well", clarinet and cello strike up for a melancholy ballad that makes me think of Vincent Gallo and, ehm, Chris Isaak at the same time. Timeless!
Shouts go out to Justin Robert Wierbonski, Kirill Nikolai, Josie Stawicki, Peter Glenn, Jeremy Powell, Phil Norman and Stacy Price who helped making "Songs from a cross (the sea)" what it is.
From a concept perspective (lyrical, musical, etc..) this is an excellent album. Much like other reviews have mentioned, however, the mix is lacking in sharpness of instruments, and at times vocal clarity. Otherwise, this is an excellent album.
November 15, 2012 Subject:
Songs From A Cross (The Sea)
In an indie, home studio sort of way this sounds good even though its full of flaws and lack sonic polish or smoothness in parts of songs. I give this effort five stars.